This is very special to me. If I had to pick my absolute favorite dessert recipe of all time, no matter what, it would be this chocolate walnut torte.
I vowed years ago to keep this family recipe a secret. Call me selfish, but I wanted to keep it all for myself. I can be extremely possessive about chocolate, after all.
But…I decided for the sake of humanity to share. Because, well, you need this in your life. Just picture two layers of crispy meringue sandwiched between fluffy chocolate whipped cream and crunchy walnuts. It’s positively sinful.
And you’ll never guess what the secret ingredient is!
Saltines make me feel like a rebel. Maybe because they’re not healthy in the least bit, but also because I take extreme pleasure in stacking them together with creamy peanut butter and marshmallow fluff and then polishing them off, one by one.
In this case though, we are crushing them and folding them into the meringue to form the layers of the torte! It gives the meringue just a hint of salt, making it completely addicting in every way.
I wish I could take credit for this genius idea but like all good things, this is totally my mom’s doing. She got the recipe from a friend back during her retro flight attendant days. I love imagining her making it for my dad on one of their first dates.
I also love imagining her making it for me because somehow she always does it better. She made it for me last June for my birthday, actually! I had a bunch of friends over to my apartment and we all drank sangria and ate chocolate walnut torte. I told everyone I made by scratch but really, it was her the whole time.
I just licked the spoon.
The last thing I’ll say before I go take another bite is that this would make a perfect New Years Eve dessert. I know…I know. We haven’t even gotten through Christmas yet and I’m all over New Years… but really! You can make it in the morning (or even the day before!) and just let it chill until the ball drops. This allows way more time for closet fashion shows and cocktails with friends.
Please make this and report back. I’ll be in my fridge if you need me.
Chocolate Walnut Torte
makes one nine inch torte
2 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
20 saltines, crushed
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 T cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 325.
Begin to beat the egg whites. When you can’t see the bottom of the bowl anymore, start to slowly add the cup of granulated sugar while continuing to beat on high until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Fold crushed saltines into meringue.
Spread meringue onto two cake pan BOTTOMS that have been heavily greased with butter or cooking spray. Bake for twenty five minutes.
Whip cream with cocoa powder and sugar. Fold in walnuts.
Gently peel away meringue layers from cake pan bottoms. This might be difficult, but it’s easiest if you run a knife very gently underneath the meringue to loosen it up a bit. Don’t worry if it breaks a little—you’re covering the whole thing in whipped cream any way so no one will know the difference.
Spread half the whipped cream onto one meringue layer. Gently place the other layer on top and top with the remaining whipped cream. Spread all over and then dust with cocoa powder.
**can be made up to two days ahead of time and kept in the fridge.